Creativity is about forming new ideas, solving problems and collaborating effectively with other people, brands and businesses. Although creative degrees can sometimes be overlooked in favour of something with a more traditional career path, they can be some of the most rewarding and varied courses available. Studying a creative course is also about doing something new and being innovative, and these are skills that are sought after everywhere by industry, from creative agencies to global corporations.
In a blog on the World Economic Forum, Scott Belsky, the chief product officer at Adobe suggested that as we become ever more reliant on artificial intelligence, uniquely human traits, such as creativity, will become much more valuable. So, what are some of the creative courses available now? And how can they help to future proof your life?
While well-established courses like Graphic Design and Illustration are still very much around, there is also a new class of creative degree that is often broader in scope, where students learn how to challenge conventional thinking, solve real-world problems, with their eyes very much on the future.
Finding a creative course that speaks to you is essential. That means doing your research before applying is an important piece of the puzzle. With that in mind, we looked at seven creative courses which combine sophisticated technology, creative skill, and infinitely broad thinking from London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
BA (Hons) Design for Branded Spaces
This course is about creating innovative and immersive experiences for organisations and brands. Students learn how to bring their visions to life with a wide range of tools, including projection mapping and augmented reality. Students are encouraged to emphasise modern sustainable practices and social enrichment, whilst developing a deep understanding of particular brands and their values.
For example, Jessica Howell used her final year project to design a ‘living’ interior guest cabin for the National Trust. Her design, called ‘The Nest’, featured sustainable materials and technology to promote a circular economy. Moss flooring, cork sleeping areas, and a pull-out forest are all part of the experience.
If you have an interest in commercial and cultural brands, a love of the design process, and the ability and enthusiasm to work with others, you would be well suited to this degree course.
BA (Hons) Design Management
Bridging the gap between design and business, this course is built to use design principles and creative thinking to find innovative solutions in a wide range of professional contexts. Students are taught management, leadership and business strategy, alongside practical design skills. They also learn how design impacts all aspects of culture and society.
The emphasis on communication, identifying issues and finding solutions is perhaps the reason behind its graduate employment rate of more than 95 per cent. In recent years, students have moved into fields spanning design to finance, some have secured places on graduate schemes for big brands, while others have set up freelance businesses or work in consultancy.
Final projects have ranged from apps to websites, to social and community projects. Celine Li’s London: Away from Home enterprise, for example, was designed to address the loneliness felt by many international students. Celine used surveys, interviews and extensive research to build a platform that creates “bridges of connection” between like-minded people.
BA (Hons) Interaction Design Arts
BA (Hons) Interaction Design Arts is intentionally broad in terms of the type of work created and the media used. It’s about ideas and thinking, learning to solve problems and having a wide, transferable skill set to allow for a flexible creative response to any brief.
For her final project, BA (Hons) Interaction Design Arts student Patti Mroz used video, sculpture and photography to speak out against the treatment of the LGBT+ community in Poland. Fellow student Yuki Mok made a documentary film about a world in pandemic lockdown. Others have experimented with everything from animation to interactive installations.
So, if you are interested in design, technology, science, psychology, arts, maths, music or all of the above and more, then this course will give you the freedom to explore.
BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing
As well as the practical and technical skills of journalism (learning about editing, production and the business side of publishing), magazine journalism is about having something to say and knowing how to tell stories - whether that’s through words, images or design.
This course is set up to give students an overview of the entire industry, including the marketing and PR behind magazines, and the creative craft of planning, designing and publishing the final product.
BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing graduate Tola Folarin-Coker used her final project to create issue one of EMÍ magazine, a publication that explores ethnic identity and Britishness. Using interviews, first-person pieces and photographs from her family history, EMÍ provides a unique insight into culture, heritage and identity.
BA (Hons) Sound Arts
Like all of these creative courses on offer, BA (Hons) Sound Arts has a broad scope, spanning everything from fine art to the hugely commercial. What industries could you go into with a Sound Arts degree? As well as sound art, there’s music, gaming, virtual reality, television and film. You could also work in audio-visual communication, community projects, creative coding, and all sorts of new media.
So much of the work students produce is about storytelling and communication, which are key employability skills in many sectors. For her final project, Faith Oluwadaisi created a short story with voice, field recordings, music and sound effects to explore themes such as sociology and identity. Since graduating she has gone on to work with filmmakers and animators as a sound designer.
BA (Hons) User Experience Design
Creating a successful user experience relies upon having an understanding of people. User experience design is research-based and empathetic, it’s about building and communicating concepts and being able to think critically. It’s also about having the skills to design and bring an experience to life.
Student Vishal Mayo used his time on BA (Hons) User Experience Design to build an interactive website exploring the impact of the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires. Fellow student Inês Araújo built an app called The Middle Ground, where people with opposing views can debate through mediated discussions. Both projects are human-focused, data-rich, well designed and feature sophisticated coding – the perfect portfolios to bag future work in a rapidly growing industry.
This course is digitally focused, but you don’t need to be able to code before you start. Students will learn how to use prototyping tools and web technologies to hone both creative and technological skills, as well as collating and analysing data to create a fully rounded user experience.
BA (Hons) Virtual Reality
From film making to gaming, immersive design, animation and many commercial enterprises, virtual reality (VR) is a rapidly evolving technology. Mastering the discipline could make you seriously employable in the future – as VR is already changing the way we do things.
From hybrid entertainment experiences where we dip seamlessly between the real and the digital, to education where other worlds and cultures can be brought into the classroom, to healthcare, live music and sports events, VR has the potential to transform many industries. BA (Hons) Virtual Reality is one of London College of Communication’s newest courses and students will learn the latest software and hardware, and work with on-set capture and shooting equipment.
Find your potential
If any of these courses speak to you, there's a very good chance you could get a lot out of studying a creative course at university. Finding the right course for you is essential, so be sure to do your research and explore the LCC website for course information. Blending your passion with your education can result in something very special.
The creative industries are dynamic, fast-moving and continually evolving, and as Scott Belsky suggests, creative skills are likely to be increasingly sought after across so many sectors in the future - not just the arts, but also business, healthcare and education (to mention just a few).
All of these courses focus on the practical skills of making and designing, as well as gaining experience of working with industry and applying expertise in real-world settings. They also allow students to be agile and responsive, teaching them to ask the right questions and come up with new and inventive answers.
So if you’re interested in a creative career, then studying a course that will give you a unique set of adaptable skills and practical experience might be the most sensible choice you can make. You can find out more about all of the above courses, as well as more creative course offerings, over at the London College of Communication website.
About our sponsor
At London College of Communication (LCC), a dynamic community of staff, students and graduates discover new possibilities in creative communications. LCC supports students to explore the power of storytelling, develop a career they love, and make a difference across wider society.
Taught by experienced practitioners, graduates go on to shape the creative industries by forging their own paths in thoughtful and experimental ways. With access to a range of outstanding facilities, students learn, research, make and innovate.
LCC uses a diverse range of skills, voices and experiences to work closely with local communities and transform the world around us. The College is also connected to industry, building partnerships with organisations ranging from start-ups and charities to leading global businesses.